Banbury United 1 Buckingham Athletic 5
A superb second half display from Buckingham Athletic, fighting back from a half time 1-0 deficit, saw them hit five to earn the three points
It was a fairly even beginning to the game with Banbury going close early on when in the 11th minute Jenny Hoggins collected the ball on the edge of the Buckingham penalty area down the left, turned sharply to beat a visiting defender before then striking the ball from a narrow angle only to see it hit the underside of the crossbar before coming down and being hacked away. Two minutes later and a shot from Banbury’s Josie Clark went just wide
In the 22nd minute Buckingham looked sure to take the lead when a forward burst through and looked to just have McLean to beat but a superb last ditch and brave tackle from central defender Charlotte Pitts just as the trigger was about to be pulled denied the visitors, the central defender injuring herself in the process.
Buckingham were now matching the home side as the half developed but it would be Banbury who would make the breakthrough three minutes before the interval when Debbie Andrews received a throw in from Leah Kinch on the edge of the Buckingham penalty area down the right. She turned sharply to face goal and unleashed a shot from a narrow angle which sailed over the visiting custodian’s head into the far top corner of the net.
Buckingham though were out of the proverbial starting blocks at the beginning of the second half faster than a pair of Usain Bolt’s running shoes! After just 60 seconds McLean pulled off a great save diving to her right to tip a shot which looked bound for the bottom corner of the net around the post for a corner. However, it was a short reprieve for United as a minute later the ball ping-ponged around the Banbury penalty area and the ball was knocked home from close range to make it 1-1.
Buckingham were then so close to taking the lead just two minutes after equalising but were denied by two excellent saves by McLean within the space of fifteen seconds, the second occasion just getting her fingertips to the ball to deflect it on to the bar. But it was all Buckingham now and ten minutes into the half they duly made it 2-1.
Midway through the half with Banbury having withstood some more heavy pressure, it looked like they might be working their way back into the game. Yazmin Holmes did well to break through twice within a minute but shot wide and then over the bar from the edge of the penalty area. However, just two minutes later Buckingham had scored a third and it looked like no way back for Banbury which is how it turned out to be with the visitors adding two more goals in the last fifteen minutes,
This was an entertaining game of women’s football. It was nice to see a side enjoying their victory and showing much enthusiasm throughout the game. Obviously the afternoon was not quite so enjoyable for the Banbury United Women’s side who clearly missed the calming influence and experience of captain Sarah Rhind at the back though nothing should be taken away from an Athletic side who were most impressive in the second half and look like they will have a very successful season ahead of them.
Banbury United: Starting XI: Katie McLean, Catlin Timms, Charlotte Pitts, Rachel Dunbar, Yazmin Holmes, Jenny Mason, Jenny Hoggins, Josie Clark, Debbie Andrews, Leah Kinch, Heidi Malcolm-Day. Subs (all used – rolling subs): Keely Hodges, Kate Bullivant, Lyns Burdock, Natasha Meadows, Lucy Byrne.